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162R | There’s Water In The Cup

Join Brad and Jonathan to discuss credit building, financial intimacy, and travel rewards.

Family Life

Both Brad and Jonathan had difficult weeks due to some medical issues in their families. Thankfully, everyone is on the mend. But Brad is now waiting for a large hospital bill in the mail.

That’s why we pursue FI, when catastrophic issues like this come up, we can weather the storm.

After this healthcare scare, Brad has taken action to scan all of his healthcare receipts. Now, these receipts will await future HSA reimbursement.

Travel Rewards And Building Credit

Jonathan got a message from a friend about where to start their travel rewards journey if they are starting without a credit score at all.

ChooseFI is about financial literacy, right, and a major aspect of being financially literate and financially powerful is having a significant credit score that you can leverage.

Pop Up Business School

Brad and Jonathan will be going to Alan Donegan’s pop up business school in South Carolina. The event will be held in Charleston on February 17th to 29th. The school is completely free, but it is a two-week commitment. At the end of the two weeks, you will start your first business and make your first sale!

If you are interested, then find out more here.

The Four Tendencies

This week’s episode was spurred on by a conversation with a reader who was curious to see which tendency is most common in the FI community. It was an eye-opening discussion about the tendencies of people around you.

While its useful to be able to identify characteristics in yourself, I certainly was able to see some pattern. I think Its actually more useful to see the tendencies in others and realize that when you are pursuing Financial Independence you have to get buy-in. You have to get buy-in. And the way that you present this information will have a significant impact on the success of that communication, the success of the buy-in.

Depending on the person and their tendency, you might be able to find buy-in through different approaches. For example, if your partner is a questioner, then they want to see all of the data that you can provide. However, if you are working with a rebel, then you need to wait for them to come to you.

Don’t force yourself into a tendency, that’s not how it works. Instead, use this knowledge to be more empathic to people around you.

If this topic interests you, then definitely check out the Four Tendencies book. Also, Pattern Language and Hot Spots are interesting reads for this concept.

Listen to the full episode with Gretchen Rubin here.

Financial Intimacy

Larry Hagner, from the Dad Edge podcast, joined the show to share his thoughts on financial intimacy.

Finances And Marriage

Half of all marriages end in divorce. 70% of those ended marriages are based on money problems. Unfortunately, money problems can be a major factor in any marriage.

Most people come into a marriage with money baggage and Larry was no exception. Based on a financially unstable childhood, he had a very difficult time spending money. It was stressful to manage the bills or spend money on anything based on his emotions surrounding money.

When Larry married Jessica, he took over the finances at first. For the first five years of their marriage, he handled all of the finances with a Ramsey mindset. It led to some stress in their marriage because he was constantly stressed about their financial situation. At some point, Jessica decided to take over the day to day bills so that Larry could let go of some that money stress. When Jessica took over the bills, Larry stuck his head in the sand about their financial situation and focused solely on investing for their future.

Money Meetings

Recently, Larry has started to work with Jessica as a team on their finances. Their strategy for working together is in the form of 30-minute weekly budget meetings where they discuss their finances of the week. At first, Larry brought stressful energy to these meetings. However, the meetings have been more productive with a less stressful point of view.

You have to bring a level of curiosity and appreciation to every conversation because the person that you are about ready to have this conversation with whatever they’re doing it makes total sense to them, why they’re doing it. So one of the worst things we can do is come in with a super maybe, and even if we don’t mean it that way, maybe we don’t have the intention of coming in defensive like guns blazing. But we’re just curious but we don’t know how to present ourselves as curious and we might come off aggressive.

Instead of asking why they are over budget in a category, ask for more about their point of view on the situation. For example, Larry struggles with the amount that they spend on groceries. Jessica has been able to share that the grocery bill is high due to a conscious choice to eat healthy foods. It is one of the many things that they work through together.

In 2020, they are adding to their money meeting by sharing their money situation with their kids. They want to teach their kids how to invest and build discipline for saving.

Hard Conversations

Opening up to your partner about money is a difficult conversation. However, financial intimacy can be a wonderful benefit from these hard conversations. Since finances are such a foundational element in a marriage, it is important to have these conversations regularly.

When you have a few different things. Trust, transparency. If you can come to every conversation with appreciation and curiosity and understand some rules when it comes to communication. Like not asking the question ‘why’, but instead replacing that with ‘hmm, tell me more.’ things like that that are going to keep that conversation on the offense and not on the defense.

If times are tough, you might bond by working through things together. Everything becomes more of a team effort. By making tough decisions together, you can bring more positive energy into the marriage.

How To Connect

If you’d like to connect with Larry’s content, then check out The Good Dad Project or The Dad Edge podcast. If you are interested in joining a mastermind, then head over to the Alliance.


We have some exciting news to share from our community.

Everyday Courage

Everyday Courage will soon be available as YouTube episodes.

FI 101

FI 101, the free course, is going live on January 25th. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do that today!

The course will include the information you need to take action on Financial Independence. Plus, it will include some built-in calculators from On Trajectory to help you figure out where you stand.


ChooseFI Publishing will soon be releasing a book with Grumpus Maximus about pensions. The book will cover everything you need to know about pensions in the context of FI.

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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